It’s a funny thing experiencing the largeness of the wilderness. Standing on a ledge and staring up at the mountains above. It’s surreal to be totally surrounded by the beauty of it all. At the same time, it can be terrifying, standing on the ledge that drops hundreds of feet into a waterfall, or being trapped at that altitude in a thuderstorm.
Worrying about these types of situations is my job, to teach others to be prepared, but to overall be prepared enough for each person on my trip. Often it can be exhausting and makes me forget why I love the outdoors. Working 18 hour days, spending nights in the woods with children who are not entirely equipped to handle it, often I feel burdened and fear I can’t lead them like I should.
But then, I bring myself back, sometimes all it takes is a quiet hike in the woods with a co-counselor. To take the time I need for myself to reconnect with the woods, to find wild blueberries, and identify new plants.
Whatever our jobs may be, and wherever they happen to lead us, it is so important to take that step back occasionally. We are all in fear of losing interest, and it can be avoided by taking the necessary steps to ground ourselves.
Here I sit, halfway through my 11-week summer, exhausted and overwhelmed. But I remind myself that when these next 5 weeks end I will come out of this stronger and more educated. That it is just as important for me to find my serenity as it is to help the next camper reach their goals. Without my direction, their progression doesn’t happen.
So I lose myself in the woods for the day, and I come back refreshed and ready to lead my next trip. Finding my serenity, I find my love for my job, each and every week.